Drug hypersensitivity and human leukocyte antigens of the major histocompatibility complex

Mandvi Bharadwaj, Patricia Illing, Alex Theodossis, Anthony W Purcell, Jamie Rossjohn, James McCluskey

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136 Citations (Scopus)


The human leukocyte antigen (HLA) genes are the most polymorphic in the human genome and are critical in regulating specific immunity, hence their historical discovery as immune response genes. HLA allotypes are also implicated in unwanted immune reactions, including drug hypersensitivity syndrome (DHS), in which small therapeutic drugs interact with antigenic peptides to drive T cell responses restricted by host HLA. Abacavir, allopurinol, and carbamazepine are three commonly used drugs that cause a T cell-mediated hypersensitivity that is HLA linked, with each drug exhibiting striking specificity for presentation by defined HLA allotypes. Recent findings have begun to unearth the mechanistic basis for these HLA associations, and here we review recent advances in the field of HLA-associated drug hypersensitivities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401 - 431
Number of pages31
JournalAnnual Review of Pharmacology and Toxicology
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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